Brewers Towner International, a biennial exhibition of contemporary visual arts, returns to Towner Eastbourne, featuring a range of artists, local, national and international, coming together to share work that addresses the theme of SANCTUARY. The exhibition has been curated by Noelle Collins, Exhibitions & Offsite Curator, Towner Eastbourne.
Following an open call, 23 artists were selected by an esteemed panel including Elizabeth Price (Turner Prize-winning artist), Sepake Angiama (Artistic Director, Iniva), and Noelle Collins (Exhibitions & Offsite Curator, Towner Eastbourne). 19 artists will be part of the exhibition and a further four, meanwhile, will present a concurrent public programme.
The artists include a number based on the South Coast - Nigel Caple, Sharon Haward, Kevin Hendley and Benjamin Phillips & Amy Fenton who live and work in East Sussex, as well as Graham Ellard & Stephen Johnstone, Hicham Gardaf, and Edward Liddle who are based in Kent. Artists based elsewhere in the UK include Maud Haya-Baviera who lives in Sheffield, and Ufuoma Essi, Melanie Jackson, Amanda Kyritsopoulou, Dene Leigh, Karen Russo, Lara Smithson and Harald Smykla all based in London. Christophe Lennox lives and works in Norway, and Steph Goodger lives and works in France. Work presented will include moving image, photography, drawing, painting, installation and live performance.
The open call for Brewers Towner International is an opportunity to recognise and appreciate how artistic communities are reflecting and responding to the economic, political, cultural, and environmental changes that are unfolding in the contemporary moment. Artists have studied the places that have become a sanctuary throughout the pandemic - finding solace in the studio, the home and the landscape. The resulting exhibition brings together a community of artists, makers and storytellers, examining subjects as varied as pattern, memory, identity and the migratory experience.
In SANCTUARY, paintings and drawings exploring ideas of memory, trauma, healing and collaboration will be exhibited alongside newspaper clippings embellished with floral patterns - transforming images of fear and violence into imaginary ecosystems. Considerations of the natural environment and its resilience are captured in large-scale paintings of a WWII-era pillbox engulfed by tree roots on the banks of the Medway river. Observations of routine and handcrafting, and ideas of the body as archive - a repository of history and site of resistance, will be presented in film and video works. Sculptural installations responding to architectural histories and ideas of exposure, vulnerability, light and shadow, will be shown alongside photographs of cinnamon stick structures reflecting childhood memories of Morocco and feelings of homesickness. Locations along the Sussex coast will feature in a series of works on paper, based on local landing points for those seeking asylum.
The Brewers Towner Award of £10,000, sponsored by Brewers Decorator Centres, will also be given to one of the exhibiting artists alongside mentoring from the Towner team. The recipient of this prestigious award will be announced at a special reception for media and invited guests prior to the exhibition’s opening party, which takes place on 22 October at 7pm to which everyone is welcome.
A new element for this edition of Brewers Towner International will include an accompanying public programme.
Lucy from Eastbourne and Ramona Ponzini from Italy will both present sound and performative works at the opening event.
Further events include exhibition tours with Lucy, day courses led by exhibiting artists Edward Liddle and Sharon Haward, physical and online discussions and two film screenings – on Saturday 5 November, Patrick Hough’s The Two Faces of Tomorrow (2021), followed by an in-conversation with the artist and algae and sustainable design expert Dr Brenda Parker, and on Saturday 26 November: Felix Melia and co-founder of architecture collective Afterparti Siufan Adey will speak after a screening of Felix’s film Money for Nothing (2021). See all events on our What's On page.
Running concurrently with Brewers Towner International in Towner’s ground floor Studio 2 is Duette, an exhibition of new and recent works by Ayo Akingbade, the recipient of the inaugural Brewers Towner Award in 2020.
Read more about our inaugural Towner International exhibition.
Some artworks explore adult themes, please speak to a member of staff if you have any concerns.
Brewers Towner International is sponsored by
With support from Lorna Gradden and Towner Emerging Artist Fund
If you are visiting the exhibitions, you can download a large print copy of the label text below.
You can also access printed Large Print Guides in the gallery by asking a member of staff at the exhibition entrance.
Listen to a sound work, frogs.picus.VANNA by Italian sound artist Ramona Ponzini for the duration of Brewers Towner International (15 October 2022 to 22 January 2023).
Within the piece Ponzini collages together the calls of frogs, birds and insects drawn from field recordings around the world, along with drones and distant traces of manipulated human voices. The result provides an immersive experience of relaxing forest sounds, a nod to the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku or ‘forest bathing’.